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November 14, 2010

47 Down, 5 To Go "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (52 Books, 52 Weeks)

The "best of 2010" book lists are popping up everywhere, and Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks seems to be on them all (and deservedly so).

Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells live on long after her death. These HeLa cells have become key facets in modern health research, and Skloot's research uncovers not only Henrietta Lacks' life, but also that of her her family and the medical advances her cells have helped bring. The book doesn't shy away from questioning medical ethics, but Skloot doesn't preach, she clearly provides the facts and lets the reader make up his own mind.

Simply put, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the most arresting work of nonfiction I have read since Dave Cullen's Columbine, and is an always engaging and important book, an arresting combination of biography, science, and ethics.

My next book is Darin Strauss's memoir Half a Life.

also at Largehearted Boy:

other 52 Books, 52 Weeks reviews

Online "Best Books of 2010" lists
Online "best of the decade" book lists
Online "best of 2009" book lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)

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